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Alberta

Province pumps healthcare system – $100M boost for surgical suites, equipment, rural hospitals

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From the Province of Alberta

A $100-million government investment will help hospitals across the province upgrade their operating rooms to provide thousands more surgeries to Albertans.

Large-scale renovations and some new operating rooms in Edmonton, Calgary, Grande Prairie and Lethbridge will allow those hospitals to focus on providing more complex surgeries, leaving rural sites and chartered surgical facilities to provide additional lower risk surgeries.

“Albertans deserve a world-class health system that delivers the right care, in the right setting, at the right time. This funding from Budget 2020 will drive down wait times with necessary and overdue upgrades to hospital operating rooms and equipment across the province. Ultimately, we will make sure our health-care system has the capacity and the staff to deliver the best access to surgery in Canada.”

Jason Kenney, Premier

“This is great news for Albertans who need surgeries and want more access to quality health care in their home communities. This $100 million for capital projects will have a cascading effect, improving access to surgeries in big city hospitals, but also in rural communities across the province, so people can get care closer to home. It’s just the start of our government’s commitment to ensure the success of the Alberta Surgical Initiative. We are working exceptionally hard to ensure we build the best health system possible in this wonderful province.”

Tyler Shandro, Minister of Health

This capital funding is part of the government’s $500-million commitment in Budget 2020 to drive down wait times and provide all medically necessary surgeries within clinically appropriate times. Savings found through the AHS Reviewwill support this initiative.

The $100 million in capital funding will be spent on surgical infrastructure and equipment, including:

  • Upgrades to 12 operating rooms at Calgary’s Foothills Medical Centre. Low-risk surgeries will be moved out of the Foothills hospital and offered in Canmore, High River and independent surgical facilities in Calgary, relieving pressures on city hospitals with long wait lists.
  • A fit-out of an operating room in Grande Prairie and converting space in the Edson Health Centre into a second operating room.
  • Renovations at the Rocky Mountain House Health Centre so it can perform more endoscopy procedures and create more space in the Red Deer hospital to focus on more complex surgeries. Low-risk surgeries will also be moved out of the Red Deer Hospital to be offered in Innisfail, Stettler, Ponoka and Olds.
  • Renovations to operating departments at the Royal Alexandra Hospital and the University of Alberta Hospital, including the addition of one new operating room. Lower risk procedures will be moved to the Fort Saskatchewan Health Centre, the Grey Nuns Community Hospital and the Sturgeon Community Hospital in St. Albert.
  • Renovations at the Medicine Hat Regional Hospital.
  • Combining two smaller operating rooms into one larger space for more complex surgeries at Lethbridge’s Chinook Regional Hospital.

This capital investment will help AHS add over 17,000 surgeries this fiscal year to meet the four-year target that was set. Once the renovations are complete and less complex surgeries are being performed in chartered surgical facilities, up to 30,000 additional surgeries will be available to Albertans by 2023.

After 15 years as a TV reporter with Global and CBC and as news director of RDTV in Red Deer, Duane set out on his own 2008 as a visual storyteller. During this period, he became fascinated with a burgeoning online world and how it could better serve local communities. This fascination led to Todayville, launched in 2016.

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Alberta

Blue Bombers become first CFL team to earn playoff spot with 26-16 victory over Elks

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EDMONTON — Zach Collaros threw two touchdown passes as the Winnipeg Blue Bombers defeated the Edmonton Elks 26-16 on Friday night to become the first CFL team to clinch a playoff berth.

Winnipeg (9-1) captured its seventh straight victory and improved to 7-0 within the West Division. Collaros finished 15-of-24 passing for 210 yards with an interception to remain the CFL’s passing leader (2,565 yards) but is also tops in TD passes with 15.

This marks the fifth straight season that Winnipeg, the defending Grey Cup champion, has made the playoffs.

Edmonton (2-7) suffered its fifth straight loss and dropped to 0-5 at home this season.

Edmonton’s defence forced a safety at 9:31 of the first quarter, then came up big five minutes later as Trumaine Washington intercepted Collaros in the end zone. The Bombers closed out the opening quarter with a 37-yard Ali Mourtada field goal.

The Elks responded with Sean Whyte’s 34-yard field goal at 11:22 of the second.

Winnipeg took the lead with three minutes left in the first half as a 47-yard completion to Kenny Lawler set up Collaros’s five-yard TD strike to Andrew Harris. But Harris appeared to suffer an injury to his right knee and did not return as Brady Oliveira finished up with 105 yards rushing on 16 carries.

Whyte kicked a 25-yard field cut Winnipeg’s half-time lead to 10-8.

Mourtada converted from 27 and a career-high 43 yards to start the third. Edmonton tied it 16-16 on Taylor Cornelius’s 11-yard TD toss to Shai Ross. Backup quarterback Dakota Prukop added the two-point convert.

Rookie Cornelius got the start as incumbent Trevor Harris was a healthy scratch.

Moments after Elks defender Aaron Grymes couldn’t hang on to an easy interception opportunity, Collaros hit Rasheed Bailey on a 48-yard completion before finding him on a five-yard scoring strike six minutes into the fourth.

Mourtada cemented the win with a 23-yard field goal with 50 seconds remaining.

Winnipeg hosts the B.C. Lions next Saturday while Edmonton has a bye week before returning home against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats on Oct. 29.

NOTES: Harris being sidelined while healthy has led to speculation the Elks are actively shopping their veteran quarterback on the trade front… Lawler returned to the lineup after being suspended by Winnipeg for its last game for an impaired driving arrest… The actual attendance appeared to be far beneath the announced 24,276 fans.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 15, 2021.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 15, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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Alberta

Medical examiner describes deaths of mother, toddler at Calgary murder trial

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CALGARY — A forensic pathologist has told a murder trial that a Calgary woman and her young daughter suffered blunt force trauma to their heads.

Jasmine Lovett and 22-month-old Aliyah Sanderson were reported missing in April 2019.

The next month, their bodies were found buried in a day use area in Kananaskis Country, west of Calgary.

Robert Leeming has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the death of Lovett but not guilty to second-degree murder in the child’s death.

Deputy medical examiner Dr. Akmal Coetzee-Khan described his findings through a series of autopsy photos.

He says Lovett appeared to have been moved after her death, judging from pooling of blood in her body.

She also had a black eye and bruising on her face.

The Canadian Press

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